December 13, 2021
In a new article about the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation-led COVID-19 Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists, Inside Philanthropy details how the nation’s largest funding collaborative to advance equity in biomedicine is reducing the risk faced by the field of “losing the best young talent” to the pandemic-exacerbated “work-caregiving crunch.” The joint effort, with funders including the American Heart Association, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the John Templeton Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation and the Walder Foundation, is helping 22 medical schools provide more than 250 early-career biomedical faculty who are experiencing periods of caregiving crisis with supplemental support for their research, such as administrative personnel and technicians, to keep their careers and important progress toward scientific discovery on track.
DDCF President and CEO Sam Gill and Program Director for Medical Research Sindy Escobar Alvarez shared their insights on the need for the concerted initiative and on how it will directly drive equity in the biomedical research field:
“Although male researchers obviously have caregiving burdens, women are more likely to leave academic research as a result of such family considerations, said Escobar-Alvarez. ‘At the medical school level, we see parity in gender of the students, even slightly more women, but at the higher levels in research institutions there are many more men,’ she said.”
“Sam Gill, CEO and president of DDCF, hopes the program’s collaborative nature will deliver impact over and above the six funders’ contributions. ‘All of the foundations joining with us in this effort have been working to ensure that the biomedical sciences can be more equitable and inclusive,’ he said. ‘As a collaboration, we can send a message to institutions that this is a real priority.’”